In celebration of Chef Heinz Beck’s arrival at Brown’s Hotel, we’re sharing this exclusive recipe for his signature Cacio e Pepe, which appears on the menu at Beck at Brown’s. Perfectly plump prawns intermingle with a lively Pecorino and pepper sauce in this indulgent recipe. Simple to prepare and utterly delicious, it’s the perfect al fresco dish to enjoy on long summer evenings. Serve with ice-cold Gavi de Gavi and good company.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
12 fresh spot prawns or sidestripe shrimp
1 minced garlic clove
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil
350g (12oz) dried spaghetti
2 heaped cups (500g) finely grated Pecorino, plus extra for garnish
Salt, to taste
1 tsp (5ml) freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra to taste
1) Begin by cleaning, peeling and de-veining the prawns or shrimp, putting the heads and shells aside.
2) Chill them in a bowl filled with ice until 30 minutes before serving.
3) Place the shells and heads in a small saucepan along with the garlic. Add enough cold water to just cover them. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil before turning the heat down and gently simmering for 45 minutes, or until the stock has reduced to about 2/3 cup.
4) Strain through a fine mesh sieve and transfer the stock to a large frying pan.
5) In a small bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice along with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss in the peeled prawns or shrimp and let them marinate in fridge for about 30 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, fill a large pan with water and season with salt. Bring the water to a boil over a high heat. Cook the pasta until it is still slightly underdone—about 2 minutes away from being al dente.
7) Bring the large frying pan of stock to a simmer over a medium heat. Add the pasta to the pan, keeping the pasta water to one side. Finish cooking the pasta in the pan, tossing frequently with tongs. If the stock dries out, add a bit of the spare pasta water.
8) When the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 30 seconds. Combine the Pecorino and 1 tsp black pepper in a medium-sized bowl and slowly add to the pan, tossing frequently with tongs to allow the residual heat of the pasta to melt the cheese. Toss until the pasta is creamy.
9) Taste and season with additional black pepper if necessary. Divide the pasta evenly between four plates. Garnish with more Pecorino and top with the strained, marinated prawns or shrimp.